|Scooby Doo 2 : Monsters Unleashed|
Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Freddie Prinze Jr, Matthew Lillard, Seth Green; Rating: PG
So the question really is: Are the Scooby Gang back on form like on 80's TV or off their game like 2 years ago? I actually have to take the surprise vote and go for back on form.
Having not been a huge fan of Scooby Doo The Movie, the child's flick with little humour and absolutely nonsense plot, I was not immensely thrilled by the prospect of a second helping. Daphne, Velma, Shaggy, Scooby and Fred are lauded at the opening night of the museum of their past cases. Only to be shamed by their inability to uncover who attacks the opening bash and steals the costumes, creating their own, real monsters. The gang come together to save face and hopefully restore their reputation.
The tale is a much more convincing comedic story than the first film and the addition of Seth Green inputs the required zest and lifts its rating hugely (as well as the absence of Rowan Atkinson). Matthew Lillard yet again acts wonderfully against the CGI dog but the star of this show is Velma (Linda Cardellini) whose shy goofiness is much less strained than in the previous film and you begin to see something of depth in the character. There is actually suspense and surprise as the plot unfolds and it really does feel like that old 80's cartoon magic is back. My only complaint is that the soundtrack is not nearly as catchy as the 2002 offering, but overall a hit for the Scoobies; a good couple of hours' childish entertainment for the young and young at heart.
(In a slight sideline, it is a shame after this rousing improvement that a third film will not allow Gellar and Prinze Jr to reprise these entertaining roles. Having said that, it is rumoured yet another ex-Buffy actor may enter the film's arena in replacing Prinze Jr - Marc Blucas (Buffy's Riley Finn) is a possible contender for the takeover).